Showing posts from November, 2009

UTDS ICTS Mark 1 / Cha-gheill!

The ICTS (Intermediate Capacity Transit System) Mark 1 is an intermediate capacity EMU (electric multiple unit) developed by UTDS (Urban Transit Development Corporation), a former Crown Corporation (now part of Bombardier Transportation GmbH of Berlin*, Germany) based in Loyalist, Ontario just east of Kingston, in the early 1980s.  Commercial operation of the Mark 1 began in 1985 with the Toronto Transit Commission Scarborough RT and the TransLink SkyTrain of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Unlike conventional EMUs, the Mark 1 and its predecessors use low-acceleration linear induction motor (LIM) as propulsion.  One of the main designers of the system is a mechanical engineer graduated from Queen's University located in Kingston, Ontario.  The principle of the LIM system is similar to that of the magnetic levitation system where low-acceleration linear synchronous motors (LSM) are used.  Unlike a conventional motor which produces a torque, LIM produces a linear force.  Its stator is …

Siemens SD-160

To kick off, let's talk about something that runs just down the street.  The German Siemens SD-160 LRV (Light Rail Vehicle, aka tram, trolley, street car) used for Light Rail Transit systems.  A standard SD-160 includes 2 carriages articulated on 3 two-axle bogies (bogie or truck in short: the wheel assembly with or without traction motors) and is equipped with 1 pantograph (mechanism that draws electricity from the overhead catenary) and 4 electric motors providing a maximum power of 580 kW (777 horsepower).  Regenerative braking is made possible due to the use of AC traction motors which can be turned into generators when decelerating.  As a result, the SD-160 feeds electricity back to the grid during braking above the speed of 5 km/h at which point the LRV's control system automatically switches from regenerative to mechanical braking (i.e. the brake shoes kick in, reason why the train shakes and jiggles a bit before it comes to a complete stop).

The above picture shows a s…